Bandits End Losing Skid, Drop Stealth on Road
from press release
EVERETT, Wash. — Looking for just a single win to secure a home-floor playoff advantage, the Washington Stealth ran into a hungry Buffalo team determined to secure its own playoff berth, falling to the Bandits 15-10, Saturday before 3,442 at Comcast Arena in Everett.
Buffalo's win snapped a six-game loosing skid for the now 6-9 Bandits, while Washington slipped to 8-7 with one game remaining.
After clinching a post-season berth last week - its third in four years, the Stealth got all the external help they needed to secure a home-floor advantage in the playoffs with Rochester edging Calgary 15–14 earlier in the evening, but was unable to help itself.
Never really getting on track, Washington relinquishing a 3-2 lead mid-way through the first and never caught up to a determined Bandits squad which tied the game at 3-3 on a Dhane Smith goal with 2:47 to go in the first.
Buffalo's Steve Priolo then made it 4-3 at 11:15 of the second, putting the Bandits ahead for good.
The Stealth, which trailed 7-4 at the half, added two lone goals in the second by Dean Hill and Curtis Hodgson to bring the game to within one entering the fourth.
Outshot 52 to 42 on the night, Washington traded goals with Buffalo early in fourth, flirting with a one-goal deficit until the Bandits' Jordan Critch ignited a three-goal Bandit run at 13:17 of the fourth.
With the three, Buffalo would go on to score seven of the final 10 goals of the game to put the Stealth away for good.
With four goals and two assists on the night, Rhys Duch moved into top spot in NLL goals scored with 41 on the season. It was Duch's 10th hat trick of the year and third game with four or more goals.
For Buffalo, Aaron Wilson had four goals and two assists for six points, while Mark Steenhuis had two goals and five assists for seven points.
The Stealth are back in action at home next weekend for the final game of the regular season when the Philadelphia Wings make their first visit to Comcast Arena this year. Game time is 6:45 p.m. PDT.
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